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Urban Youth Lead


What's Up Study in St. Paul. Urban Context. Urban Youth Lead what is it? ... St. Paul Findings ... Minneapolis and St. Paul. Largest urban Hmong population in US ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Urban Youth Lead

Urban Youth Lead
  • Erica Gates,
  • Jessica Russo, and Mimi Erenberg

  • Whats Up Study in St. Paul
  • Urban Context
  • Urban Youth Lead what is it?
  • Foundations of a youth leadership program (What
    influences our approach)
  • Curriculum guide components
  • Experience sample activities
  • Urban Youth Lead at Andersen
  • Evaluation
  • Dialogue to process replication strategies

Is there a need for adolescent programs?
  • Heavy emphasis on school achievement overshadows
    learning opportunities for adolescents (Pittman,
    Irby, Tolman, Yolalem, Ferber, 2001)
  • Programs often geared toward younger children
  • Lack of programs designed for adolescents
  • Fewer and fewer for children, youth, and
  • Nonformal learning environments play a critical
    role in the acculturation of immigrant
  • (Skuza, 2003 2005)

Whats Up Study in St. Paul
  • Method
  • Written surveys and qualitative semi-structured
  • 410 parents and youth participated
  • St. Paul Findings
  • Youth and parents possess a compelling interest
    in higher education and careers.
  • Need for non-sports related activities
  • Need for programs designed for adolescents
  • Unlike other communities, parents and young
    people of St. Paul appear to be more strategic
    about the kinds of activities the young people
    are involved in.
  • However, similar to other communities, both
    parents and young people often lack a vision of
    the possibilities for St. Paul.  

Our Urban Context
  • Minneapolis and St. Paul
  • Largest urban Hmong population in US
  • Largest Somali refugee population in US
  • Latino/a youth are the fastest growing population
  • 66 of school-aged students are from low-income
  • Densely populated and culturally diverse
  • Programs take place in schools, housing
    complexes, and community centers


What is Urban Youth Lead?
  • a way to work with youth to build awareness and
    leadership skills so that ultimately, they become
    the authors of their own lives.

Urban Youth Lead is
  • Youth building awareness, strengthening
    interactions, and becoming leaders
  • Exploring the possibilities of higher education
    and careers
  • Working with youth in an innovative youth
    development process

Foundations of a Learning Environment
What influences our approach
  • Nonformal learning environment
  • Experiential learning
  • Youth leadership
  • Ladder of participation

Youth Leadership
  • Inspired by Paulo Freire
  • A type of personal leadership
  • Youth understand their world
  • Youth name their place in the world
  • Youth build skills and knowledge to help them get
    where they want to go

Paulo Freire
  • Exiled from Brazil for 20 years
  • Developed a liberation theory of education
  • All human beings are capable of looking
    critically at the world (reading the world)
  • I can begin to liberate myself by understanding
    the context of my learning
  • The roles of student and teacher are both to
    learn both to teach

Education can become the practice of freedom
people dealing critically and creatively with
reality and discovering how to participate
in the transformation of their world.
Paulo Freire
Pedagogy which begins with the egoistic
interests of the oppressorsand makes of the
oppressed the objects of its humanitarianism,
itself maintains and embodies oppression. It is
an instrument of dehumanization.
In other words
  • Youth learn about
  • The possibilities
  • Their potential
  • The doors they have and want open
  • How they can open those doors

youth become the authors of their lives.
Ladder of Participation
Urban Youth Lead Guide

This guide helps program leaders create a
democratic learning environment in which youth
identify their interests and discover
possibilities for their futures.  
Overview of Urban Youth Lead Introduction
Purpose of This Guide Youth Programs Meet
Youth Needs Section 1 Foundations of a Youth
Leadership Program Nonformal Learning
Environment Experiential Learning Youth
Leadership Ladder of Participation Section
2 Youth Leadership Building Awareness
Strengthening Interactions Becoming a
Leader Section 3 Evaluation Evaluate Youth
Learning Evaluate the Learning Environment
Youth Learning Evaluation Tools Learning
Environment Survey Section 4 Resources Appendix
Section 2 Youth Leadership
Three phases of youth leadership Phase 1
Building Awareness Phase 2 Strengthening
Interactions Phase 3 Becoming a Leader
Building AwarenessAwareness is a continual
process of personal discovery and exploration.
  • Awareness of self
  • Leadership styles and personal qualities
  • Influences and biases
  • Motivations and areas of growth
  • Awareness of community
  • Urban environment and diversity
  • Community issues
  • Their roles in their communities
  • Awareness of possibilities
  • Explore interests
  • Goals
  • Move past barriers
  • Research resources

Strengthening Interactions
  • Critical thinking
  • Asking questions
  • Communication
  • Practicing dialogue
  • Decision-making
  • Vision statements

Becoming a Leader
So the point is not to become a leader. The
point is to become yourself, to use yourself
completely all your skills, gifts, and energies
in order to make your vision manifest. You must
withhold nothing. You must, in sum, become the
person you started out to be, and enjoy the
process of becoming. --Warren Bennis
  • Personal learning experience
  • A transformation process whereby youth see
    themselves as leaders
  • Realize a vision for themselves and their
  • Apply their leadership skills in real situations.
  • Learning portfolio/biography
  • Youth present their learning to others.

Urban Youth Lead at Andersen
Andersen Open School
  • Youth in Urban Youth Lead chose to raise
    awareness of leadership and their community.
  • Partnered with Phillips Community Television to
    address topic through a documentary video
  • Developed questions related to their topic and
    interviewed students, teachers, and community

Other parts of the guide
  • Evaluation
  • Resources
  • Handouts from activities
  • Ladder of participation in actionexample

Learning Environment Evaluation
  • This survey measures the effectiveness of the
    learning environment in terms of five factors on
    a 6-point scale.
  • Program planning and delivery
  • Intentional learning environment
  • Safe learning environment
  • Membership and inclusion
  • Relationship with adults/community connections

Youth Learning Evaluation
  • Adolescents will also describe their personal
    learning experiences
  • Phenomenological essay method.
  • Data from these essays will give program leaders
    a clear picture of the adolescents learning
  • These data will also be used to update the Urban
    Youth Lead curriculum and will be used in various
    publications written for those working in the
    fields of youth development and education.

Replicating an Urban Youth Lead program
Contact Information
  • Urban 4-H Youth Development
  • University of Minnesota Extension Service
  • Erica Gates
  • gates015_at_umn.edu
  • Jessica Pierson Russo
  • pier0237_at_umn.edu
  • Mimi Erenberg
  • erenberg_at_umn.edu
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